At The Wood Project all of our timber slabs are from salvaged logs. Put simply, we Recycle Your Tree. As a result we have a huge variety of species available and due to the nature of our timber (ie: not being from plantation log) it is rich in character and grain feature, unlike anything you can buy commercially.
When pricing a slab, there are a few things you need to take into consideration, we use a cubic metre rate as a starting point for our pricing, however each slab is priced individually on its own merit with the below factors taken into consideration:
Slabbing a log:
When milling a log you obviously try and yield as much from the log as possible, the 2 slabs either side of the heart slabs are normally the best slabs out of the log and sometimes they are the only slabs that are worth anything – you can use the other slabs of course, however they will require a fair amount of additional work commonly the heart slabs are split right through the middle and they will need to be buzzed and rejoined etc the end product is still amazing however in this day and age most people want their completed piece to be made out of one slab and one slab only – hence these large slabs can fetch a pretty penny. And rightly so.
Drying a Timber Slab:
Another factor associated with the pricing of our slabs is that they are kiln dried. Kiln dried slabs are the best for furniture making as they are as stable as you can get – in terms of timber – remembering it is organic matter and it will always contain some moisture. We kiln dry our timber down to 10% moisture content, this is the optimum moisture content in Melbourne, you can not get a slab at this moisture content without a kiln. This normally takes approximately 3 weeks in the kiln – after air-drying for 12-18 months prior.
Remember when a slab is first milled it is “green” that is, its full of water, it needs to dry for at least 2 years (that’s based on 55mm thick slab) before you can even consider doing anything with it.
If you ever come across a “cheap” slab you are most probably dealing with a slab that is not dry, buyer beware. Buy this slab and work on it at your own risk. A green slab will warp, crack and move beyond belief, once its done its drying you will be left with firewood at best – this mostly being due to it not being racked out and drying flat under controlled conditions.
Slabs need to be dried under controlled environments – racked out correctly, strapped down, on flat ground, sheltered from the elements (you don’t want too much sun or rain), with just the right amount of ventilation. It’s not a quick, easy or guaranteed process. Lots can go wrong and often does.
Preparing a Slab
At TWP we sell all of our slabs “Dressed” (see this blog on our page for more info) we prefer to sell our slabs dressed, as this way you know exactly what you are getting in terms of thickness – once sanded and flattened through our industrial wide belt drum sander all the “hard” work is done and you are ready to finish your slab.
Our slabs generally start at 55mm thick, once sanded and flattened you will then have your final thickness (normally around 48-50mm) so you will know exactly what you are working with. Also once dressed you can really get an idea of the beautiful grains and feature throughout the timber.
Our slabs have a story, we collect each & every log with our crane truck, we know why the tree is being removed and in most cases how long it has been there for. You can buy the slab and build your own piece of furniture or ask us about our value ad service whereby you choose the slab and we make your custom furniture or fittings for you.
When we make you a piece of furniture we can tell you the history of your furniture, its an amazing tale you will be repeating with pride for years to come. And when you select one of our slabs, you should be proud, proud that you have selected to have something 100% Australian made and sustainable.
So there we have it, how much is a timber slab?
It’s a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string? As mentioned above, we do use a cubic metre rate based on the following; length x width x thickness x cubic metre rate.
For example: our dressed cypress slabs have a cubic metre rate of $8500, if we were pricing a cypress slab of 3000mm x 400mm x 50mm the sum would be as follows: 3 x .04 x .005 x 8500 = $510 this would be an approximate price with the above considerations factored in.
To get an idea, head to our slab page, we have a handful of our slabs here with pricing ☺